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Gather is a project + platform to support community-minded journalists and other engagement professionals. We’d love your feedback. What's useful? What's missing? Let us know

In this week's newsletter:

  • REPLAY: Did you miss our ONA 20 sessions last year? Catch up on great insights about measuring impact and building power with communities.

  • JOB ALERT: Check out the MANY jobs this week! 

  • COMMUNITY UPDATES: Publishing less, subscriber groups, Nextdoor guidelines, learn from Scalawag, and web accessibility.
    HOT READ: "NYC Nursing Home Gave Dozens of Veterans Experimental COVID-19 Treatments. Some Families Had No Idea" in THE CITY

Two inspiring talks on engaged journalism

Last year we had the pleasure of hosting two ONA 2020 sessions that dove into how and why journalism’s relationship with communities is shifting - and needs to shift. 

One talk came at it from the practical lens of measuring engagement’s impact. We have all wrestled with how, as Darryl Holliday put it, “Tracking impact sucks because how we define impact sucks.” Darryl offered a birds-eye view of how City Bureau redesigned their impact tracking system, beginning with a deep literature review to clarify their theory of change. Julie Christie then offered an overview of how Resolve Philly built their impact tracker, starting with clarifying goals to digging into their Airtable  design. Eric Gordon from MIT and Emerson College then dove into his research, the tool Meetr (which was created in partnership with the Agora Journalism Center), and how we can measure the four meaningful activities of network building, holding space, distributing ownership, and persistent input.

Measuring the Impact of Engaged Journalism
Understanding journalism’s impact is fundamental to earning communities’ trust and serving their information needs. In this 33-minute session, learn not just WHAT newsrooms are measuring but also HOW they are tracking it. (Julie Christie, Darryl Holliday, Eric Gordon, Andrew DeVigal)

The second talk approached journalism’s relationship with communities from the place of power. Stefanie Murray shared how U.S. media collaboration is shifting from a newsroom-centric focus to collaborating with communities, and how that moves our work down a “spectrum of engagement” from inclusion toward shared power and agency. Heather Bryant of News Catalyst then dove into how, as she said so poignantly, “Journalism can either enable power structures or expose them.” Alicia Bell from Free Press ended the session by re-orienting journalists to the fact that “you were born to exist in community,” and offered ways we can let that re-orientation change journalism’s work and mission. 

From Participation to Collaboration: Building Power with Communities
How do we move engagement beyond public participation and acknowledge and amplify the power that communities hold through journalism collaboration? This important 45-minute conversation discusses how to strategize and re-imagine the relationships journalists build with the public we serve. (Stefanie Murray, Heather Bryant, Alicia Bell, Andrew DeVigal)

Both are now available on Gather. Think of each as a great companion to your lunch break - inspiring conversations about our work as engagement journalists who believe in civic health.

Alisha Savson, Gather community manager

Lightning Chats

Discuss a shared challenge, brainstorm ideas for a project, or learn more about a case study in our 30 minute chats. You can subscribe to a lightning chat calendar on Google calendar or on iCal or revisit past chats in the archive (login for full access). Here's what's coming up:
  • TOMORROW at 2pm ET // Q&A with Andrea Wenzel: Join us next week to chat with Andrea Wenzel about her new book, “Community-Centered Journalism: Engaging People, Exploring Solutions, and Building Trust.” We'll be doing something different this time around. This chat will be a live recorded interview with Andrea for a future episode of The Listeners Podcast. Register on Zoom for a 60-minute conversation at 2:00pm ET / 11:00am PT.
  • Thurs, Feb. 18 // Behind the scenes of a high impact project on anti-Asian hate: Kristine Lois Villanueva knew she wanted to create a project examining the rise in COVID-19 related anti-Asian hate from a national perspective, but finding ways to bring in engagement was a constantly moving target. Join this chat to learn about how Kristine made strategic decisions when challenges arose, and how the project was cited in legislation from the local to national levels. Register on Zoom for a 30-minute conversation at 2:30pm ET / 11:30am PT. Click here to add this to your Google Calendar.

Jobs, Fellowships, and Funding

Shoutout to Andrew Losowsky for posting Josh Stearns’ thread on Slack! Check out the #jobsandinternships and #grantsandfunding Slack channels to see what other opportunities Gatherers are sharing.

There are so many opportunities this week that we will point you in two directions:
  • first, check out this amazing (and long!) Twitter thread of jobs from Josh Stearns, many of which involve engagement.                                                                                                                                                             
  • After that, head to our #jobsandinternships channel for even more openings.

Community Updates

The Gather Slack is the thriving hub of our community, where we brainstorm together, ask for and offer advice, and connect with each other. Sign up as a Gather member to join Slack.
  • Publishing less: Has your newsroom strategically cut back on the amount of content you produce? Stephanie Castellano (American Press Institute) is writing an article about organizations significantly cutting content, why those decisions were made, and what the outcomes are. Contact Stephanie via email or on Slack to share your experience.                                                                                                                                           
  • Subscriber groups: What have you learned from starting a Facebook group or similar space for subscribers? What advice would you give someone about to start one? Help a Gatherer out.
  • Nextdoor guidelines: An observation about Nextdoor’s community guidelines is morphing into a conversation about sites like Nextdoor filling information gaps. Join the conversation.
  • Learn from Scalawag: The next Peer Learning + Collaborative Fund Share + Learn event is with Scalawag. Sign up to learn about “growing membership and audience.”
  • Web accessibility: A Gatherer is working on creating web accessibility resources for people in journalism and related fields, and they are seeking responses to help them tailor these resources. Ask them questions on Slack or visit the Google Form

Hot Read"NYC Nursing Home Gave Dozens of Veterans Experimental COVID-19 Treatments. Some Families Had No Idea" by Dean Russell for THE CITY. Additional reporting by Yoav Gonen. (This is the Gather community's most-shared story on Twitter this week. Look for other 'hot reads' in Friday's Nuzzel newsletter and in the #reads channel on the Gather Slack.) 
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